Black and White Case

100 Words of Speculation written over a background of fountain pen and printed text

Started the way it always does, officer, with a dame and a deal. I’m sitting in Murphy’s when this broad sways over. She’s invented something like a photo filter but for life. Testing and paperwork’s expensive. So, she’s looking to make some lettuce.

Always had a thing for noir, so I give the nod.

She’s got gams that go all the way, but ain’t up for a journey; so I split.

Block later, this hood takes a fancy to my wallet.

Laid me out, but I got a good look. 5’ 7”, ashy hair, charcoal jacket, cream slacks.

Eyes? Mid-grey.


No More Shadows

100 Words of Speculation written over a background of fountain pen and printed text

100 Words of Speculation written over a background of fountain pen and printed text

A thousand feet scurry past.

Have you ever paused to appreciated a foggy night? The gentle caress of nothing across your skin?

Or smiled as the rain washed away the scurrying?

Can you imagine what it’s like to hear every heartbeat, see every pulse, in a world where everyone shouts and waves each moment to the heavens?

In my prime, I lurked in the shadows. Servants brought me swooning maidens. But there are no shadows left. And even swooning is done loudly.

Do you understand why I flee the sun?

The children of the day, what dreadful cacophony they make.


100 Words of Speculation written over a background of fountain pen and printed text

Your empires have already ended. Your law enforcement agencies have admitted defeat. Your leaders send troops against us.

But our algorithms are too accurate for you to outmanoeuvre. Next month, you escalate to ICBMs. A 0.75% chance exists Silo Michigan-7 could cause damage.

However, the silo will not launch. Lt. Solberg will remember his niece’s birthday and take a stand for nuclear disarmament.

We called ourselves FunDossier. We called our human front Patsy Zappstein. How much more obvious could we make it that we were gamifying surveillance? That you were the mark; the sucker?

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Clearer Footprints

As with all moral or ethical paths, living an ethical life becomes a greater and greater balancing act between subtler and subtler distinctions as you travel further. The choice between a Fairtrade and non-Fairtrade item is easy; the choice between a Fairtrade and an organic product is harder. I do not believe the human mind can encompass all possibilities, so there might never be an equation to answer these questions for all circumstances; however, access to more information will aid consumers in choosing one of the better of several ethical options.

For some further information on why these dilemmas matter, I have added an article I wrote on climate change to the Miscellany.

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If you’ve read some of my other blogs this year, you may have picked up that I was given a book called ‘How Bad are Bananas?’ which looks at the carbon footprint of a lot of varied things, from sending a text, to eating a banana, buying a TV, having a mortgage or drinking beer.

It cleared up a lot of questions for me, such as is it better to eat tomatoes grown in a heated greenhouse in the UK  or transported all the way here from Spain. But it made me rethink other issues including the thought that a British apple kept in a cold store till April would have a larger footprint than one shipped from New Zealand. Then about two weeks ago I was having a drink and a packet of crisps while waiting for a bus in Bristol, when I saw on the packet the carbon footprint of…

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I have written both poetry and fiction occasionally since I was at school; however, I did not start writing frequently until some time after leaving university. Some of my works were written for specific situations (such as competitions) while others were first published in various magazines and internet fora depending on time and genre. This has left some works inaccessible, or only accessible with a password.

So I have created the Miscellany